StarCraft fans, rejoice! Blizzard announced yesterday that the hugely anticipated sequel, Wings of Liberty, will be available at retailers starting July 27 and directly from Blizzard itself shortly thereafter. The game has been in beta since February with a rather hefty update releasing just a few weeks ago, which included the custom map editor, achievements, and a number of other Battle.net additions.
"Thanks to our beta testers, we're making great progress on the final stages of development, and we'll be ready to welcome players all over the world to StarCraft II and the new Battle.net in just a few months," said Mike Morhaime, Blizzard CEO and co-founder.
Wings of Liberty will continue the StarCraft story arc, following Terran rebel leader Jim Raynor. The game will allow players to pick and choose the missions they run, creating a very customizable single-player experience.
The Terran won't be the only stars of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. Today, Blizzard confirmed that the game would also be getting a "mini-campaign" for the Protoss.
"This part of the campaign mode is of course way shorter than the Terran part, but it is very fun to have a very different play style to add even more variety to the game," wrote Blizzard's Stefanie Gwinner on the game's forums. "I am sure every Protoss fan will love this part of the Campaign!
"That being said, the Protoss mini-campaign will not prepare you for the multiplayer as Protoss, you won't be using all units or getting to know buildings and upgrades. In general, even for Terran, it is not the objective of the single player to show how to play the game effectively, it is to tell a story and do a lot of fun things, that would not be possible in multiplayer.
"The Challenges, mini-missions, that ask you to complete a very specific task, are more suited to give players the opportunity to learn how to use the units and how to play the game. "
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty will be out later this year with a beta coming sometime before then.
Update: we have confirmed that this was a hoax. Blizzard issued this statement:
This is not correct. We have not sent out beta invitations yet and there is no download available. If you do get a mail claiming you made it into the beta now, be very careful and check back with your contact at Blizzard to avoid installing trojans.
Luis 'Paperkat' Di Centa, who was crowned World of Warcraft champion at BlizzCon 2008, reports that he has received an invitation for the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty closed beta. Di Centa claims he has received an email from Blizzard stating the following:
We're excited to have reached the beta-testing stage for the second Starcraft game, and we'd be grateful to have your assistance in finalizing the content. There are a lot of new things to test, the single-player campaign and a brand new multiplayer experience, and we look forward to receiving any feedback you can offer.
Read on to learn how to participate and thank you in advance for your support in helping us put the finishing touches on the game...
Apparently the beta download weighs in at a hefty 8.3 GB and is still inaccessible to invitees. The email, however, contained a code for accessing the download once it's available.